IoT Time: M2M/Internet of Things weekly digest

23 Apr 2020

Germany’s Deutsche Telekom (DT) has signed NB-IoT roaming agreements with Swisscom, Telia Company and Vodafone Group to bring roaming services to a further nine European countries, with DT already offering NB-IoT roaming in nine of its own markets. The new NB-IoT roaming footprint will include: DT’s networks (Germany, the Netherlands, Austria, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Greece, Poland and Croatia); Swisscom’s network covering Switzerland and Liechtenstein; Telia Company’s networks in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden; and Vodafone’s networks in Spain, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands and the UK. In other DT news this week, the group switched on its first private standalone 5G network at its Centre for Connected Industry (CCI) on the RWTH Aachen Campus in partnership with Ericsson, incorporating autonomous solutions to demo use cases such as connected factories and autonomous production facilities, with the aim of fast tracking Industry 4.0 and connected infrastructure initiatives. DT has also unveiled its ‘IoT Solution Builder’ online construction kit designed to enable firms to tailor their IoT platform, hardware, connectivity, data management and services.

ZTE has announced live network verification of the industry’s first OLT (optical line terminal) built-in multi-access edge computing (MEC), in partnership with China Unicom. Supporting an Internet of Vehicles (IoV) remote driving test, the partners demonstrated real-time video backhaul latency during driving, achieving 92% reduction in delay of the communication between the vehicle control electrical system and the control centre, with latency reaching the millisecond level. ZTE and Unicom deployed a 5G network in standalone mode at the Zhongtong Bus plant and connected ZTE’s 10G-PON OLT cards in China Unicom’s equipment room to the ONT (optical network terminal) in the plant control centre to deliver high-bandwidth and low-latency wired network access. The results indicate that ZTE’s Light Cloud solution is well poised for the commercial deployment of MEC, the vendor declared.

Fibocom announced that its 5G modules FG150 and FM150 – based on the Qualcomm SDX55 platform – have completed the first data call and end-to-end data transmission on China Mobile’s Standalone-Structured 5G network, which it called ‘a significant step towards realisation of all the three 5G features (eMBB, uRLLC, mMTC) in IoT’. Fibocom says its 5G modules have global coverage, accelerating scale deployment of 5G IoT applications such as: 4K/8K video live broadcast, cloud office (ACPC), drone, robot, AR/VR, 5G virtual dress mirror, 5G cloud game, 5G digital signature, 5G wireless gateway, 5G CPE, 5G SD-WAN, smart grid, telemedicine, connected cars, intelligent transportation system, autonomous driving, smart home, smart cities and others.

Ligado Networks – the US company which emerged from ill-fated open-access 4G start-up LightSquared in February 2016 – has finally been given the go-ahead by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to utilise its L-band spectrum for 5G, with a view to targeting the IoT sector. Ligado is aiming for nationwide terrestrial use of the 1526MHz-1536MHz, 1627.5MHz-1637.5MHz and 1646.5MHz-1656.5MHz bands, with the FCC noting that adjacent band operations, including the Global Positioning System (GPS), are protected from interference.

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